The Sonoran Trails Middle School Cheer team, coached by Sara Thompson and Bailee Walker, had an undefeated season and brought back the AZ State Title. Not an easy feat! What most people don’t know is that the CCUSD Cheer teams begin their season in April and end their season in February. They practice all spring and summer in preparation to begin competing in November. Because of the Covid-19 Pandemic the season was cut short, eliminating the most crucial practices from April through August. These teams missed out on important time to learn stunting and tumbling skills, they were unable to attend their 4 day summer camp, and due to the Pandemic they missed out on opportunities to truly bond as a team.
When the season was able to begin, they had to push hard to make up for lost time. Practices were hard and not always fun. They had to learn to work together, learn their competition routines, work on skills and all while wearing masks. Then to top it off on any given day, there would be girls put in quarantine. The teams would have to adapt to missing teammates which means not being able to practice parts of the routine.
“We were forced to go with the flow even when that meant changing the routine the night before they competed. It was such a roller coaster.”
The Sonoran Trails cheer team was unable to compete in-person this season and all of their competitions were virtual submissions. Having coached for many years, I can truly say that there is nothing like experiencing a live competition with an audience, hearing your team’s placement while holding your cheer sisters’ hands. We were sad that this was not an experience we were able to give them! But through it all this team showed their love for this sport. Through hard work, dedication and tenacity they pushed through and had an undefeated season.
“This 2020-2021 team is truly amazing and as coaches, we couldn’t be more proud of them!!! This season has been one to remember!!!!!! STMS2020STRONG!” (Timon Harper photography)
– Sara Thompson